Prayer with Wool, 5th May 

On Sunday we thought of the role of shepherding in scripture. In this prayer we use strands or pieces of wool to pray for others.

 If you’re able to find such a piece, hold it in your hands – otherwise imagine wool caught on barbed wire, newly-cut fleece, spun yarn or a wool garment.

 1 John 3:18-22: 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.


We bring our prayers to God …

Sometimes wool is tangled and discoloured, sometimes straightened and clean

We come to you in prayer, just as we are. Beneath the cleaned-up exterior there are parts of us which are not pretty, there are parts of this world which are more than not pretty – they are ugly.

Lord we pray for your intervention in those areas of your world and her people who are struggling with illness, conflict, loss of faith and low esteem.

Sometimes wool from sheep is caught against fences and barbed wire, sometimes spun into yarn.

We pray for those who feel they are at the edge, controlled, pushed to the limits of what is being asked of them.

 The price of wool fell in the first weeks of this year, Covid-19 has meant no auctions since March.

We pray for farmers and keepers of livestock struggling at this time to make a fair and just living.

Help us to treat each other fairly, to make good choices which show love for you and for our neighbours.

Wool is used to keep us warm and feel safe

We pray for those who feel left out in the cold and we remember those who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation.

We pray your safekeeping on those we know who are in need, those ill at home or in hospital. Good shepherd, keep our family and friends safe.

 The pieces of wool we hold comes from different fields and different flocks

Help us in response to your love and care to play our part in bringing others into a knowledge of you.

Good shepherd, bring us all into the one flock to be kept safe by you.

We ask these prayers in the name of Jesus.


Pru Cahill, 05/05/2020


Help me, Lord, in these worrying, uncertain times.

Help me to listen and be calm in Your presence. 

Help me to realise that with you, I am not alone. 


Help me, Lord, when times are good, 

To thank you for your everlasting support. 

Help me to wonder at the awesome natural world.

Help me to appreciate the people, near and far, who brighten my day. 


Help me, Lord, to be strong for others. 

Help me to be ready for whatever you ask of me. 

But most of all, help me to grow in You. 




Elva Towler, 30/04/2020, Clayton Methodist Church, inspired by the Beatles song ‘Help’


Gracious and merciful God,

in this time of uncertainly and separation,

we seek you.

We come just as we are,

bringing with us

our anxiety,

our anger,

our fear,

the times we feel down

and there seems to be no way forward.

In the midst of it all,

in the shadows of the night,

in the brightness of the day,

we turn to you.

We will praise you,

our God.

We call on your name.

We cling to you,

thankful for the certainty

that you walk alongside us.

You are our help,

you are our strength,

our encouragement day by day,

your hand upholds us.

You are love itself.

Gracious and merciful Lord,

grant us your peace.

In the name of Christ.


Rev. Joy Rulton, 30/04/2020


Who holds the baby?

Loving God, on the screen. a baby is being born.
Her first breath comes with a loud cry
That says a new life has begun:
a vista stretching out beyond sight.

Will she ever get to meet a rhinoceros except on old films
Will she still be social distancing as a teenager
Will she be appalled by our bequest of climate change
Will she question why we filled the oceans with plastic crumbs.

Will she be able to worship you in a church building
Will she be able to shake hands to offer the peace
Will she be able to kneel and take bread and wine
Will she be able to show your love by hugging her friends

Loving God I do not know the answers to these questions
And as I look at that gorgeous baby, I feel anxious.
Then I remember that one thing hasn’t changed
There is one thing that always remains the same.

Sometimes I forget this, I am like those two
disciples who walked with Jesus on the way to Emmaus
and did not recognise who was walking with them
They felt sad and alone, fearful and vulnerable

Yet they sensed that the one who opened the scripture
was telling them something more than a story.
His words made their hearts catch light with hope
The heavy weight of fear lifted from their shoulders.

Their world had been turned upside down too
Yet when they saw him break the bread
Their eyes were finally opened to the love
That he was sharing with them and all of us

Life would no longer be controlled by sadness
Their vision was no longer blurred by pain
For your amazing love is always with us
and you hold our future in your hands

Ken Stokes, 22/04/2020


Healing God,

We thank you for the healing ministry of Jesus. We thank you that he bought renewal and wholeness of life: signs of your kingdom here on earth.

We for those who are unwell at this time: for those already infected by the virus and those most vulnerable to the disease.

We pray your protection and grace for all medical professionals and care workers in the NHS and residential homes.

We pray for our public healthcare leaders and government agencies that they might be informed and as well prepared as possible.

We pray for the researchers in the laboratories who are tracking the course of this disease, and for those searching for treatments and vaccines.

We pray for all whose lives are disrupted. We pray for families who have been separated and for those whose livelihoods have been jeopardized.

We pray that through this crisis you may draw us closer to you, and that we may grow in compassion for one another and for the world you created.

In the healing name of Jesus Christ,


Caroline Ryder, 18/04/2020


Lord of all hopefulness,
We pray for all who bring your word of life
As a light to those in darkness.
For those who bring your word of peace
To those enslaved by fear.
For those who bring your word of love
To those in need of comfort.
Lord of resurrection life
Be known
Through our lives
and through your power, in Jesus name,


Caroline Ryder, 17/04/2020


You may wish to light a candle as you pray;


‘May the light of Christ, rising in glory,

Banish all darkness from our hearts and minds’ Amen.


Christ, our light and our guide,

We praise you that you triumphed over death,

We thank you that you bring light in the face of darkness,

Hope in the face of despair.

Help us to trust in you and to walk today, and every day, in the way of truth and love.


Caroline Ryder, 16/04/2020


Resurrection God,

I thank you for this new day and for your promise to make all things new. I thank you for your steadfast love and eternal hope found in Jesus Christ.

 I bring to you now my hopes, desires, needs and concerns.   I trust that you hear me and help me.

For your church, Easter people; frightened, weary, hopeful – may we all know more of your love and provision at this difficult time.

 Help us wherever we are today, be witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ: who died, who is risen and who will come again. Thank you for this Easter hope. Amen.

Caroline Ryder, 15/04/2020


Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

You did not make us to be just creatures, you made us to be your children,

And everything you do, you do to enable us to stand tall as your children.

To stand firm and be counted.

And we stand tall, not in our own strength, but because of your mercy and grace.

You give us all we need to be your children, your forgiveness, your love and our salvation.

And you do not leave us to stand alone, for you live in us, and you constantly watch over us.

We see your reflection in each other, and together we are strong.

So, Lord, we will stand firm in the face of the darkness that surrounds us,

We will stand firm and watch for what you will do.

We will stand firm for others, and we will stand firm for you.

We will allow your Spirit in us to strengthen us, and make us what you would have us be,

So that we are able to shine through the darkness,

And others will see your reflection in us,

And we will give you the glory.  


Anne Wilde, 06/04/2020



Great Shepherd of the sheep, we don’t know where we are going right now,
Where the valley we are walking through will lead us,
How long we must travel along it, and what life will be like when we come out the other side.
What we do know is that we do not travel alone, Lord Jesus, you travel with us,
Indeed, you lead us, so that whatever we face you are there alongside us,
And you provide that ‘balm’, that soothing ointment for our spirits and souls.
Through the days when life seems hard and we wonder if we can carry on,
Pour your balm over us to give us your peace and your encouragement.
When we feel frustrated and imprisoned,
Pour your balm over us to give us your calm and your stillness.
When we feel frightened and confused,
Pour your balm over us to give us your love and your comfort.
When we feel abandoned and lonely,
Pour your balm over us to give us the sense of your presence.
We will walk through the valley in peace, when we walk with you.
Thank you, Great Shepherd.


Anne Wilde, 05/04/2020


Hymn: As if you were not there (StF 724)


Almighty, Loving God,

We know from experience that new life is born from pain and struggle.

Before the baby can come into the world, it’s mother must give her whole self, body and mind,

she must labour and struggle to bring her child into the world.

Lord, right now the world is experiencing such struggle, such anguish, such pain, such loss,

We are experiencing the struggle, the anguish, the pain, the loss.

Sometimes our anxiety threatens to overwhelms us, our fear is almost tangible.

We are part of the world’s great struggle, that labouring.


Loving God, there can be no resurrection without a crucifixion.

You experienced isolation, rejection, deepest anguish and unspeakable pain,

And yet you came through it all to bring us victory,

You laboured on until you brought new life into the world.


Help us to keep our eyes fixed on the prize,

To believe that our struggles, our fears and pain will, in your time,

Result in new life, for us and for our world;

That this great sorrow will not be in vain.

We pray that the new life that emerges will be a better life than the old one.

Where all are respected and there are fair shares for all,

And we can rejoice that we played our part in bringing about your new creation.


Anne Wilde, 03/04/2020


Hymn:  ‘When, O God, our faith is tested.’ (StF 643)


Gracious, mighty and majestic God,

why did we not realise that you could not stand by

and watch us destroying this beautiful planet you made for our home?

Why did we not realise that the world is yours first and foremost and only given to us on lease?

Why did we not realise that we are called to be stewards and not controllers of the earth?

Lord, as we try to make sense of what is going on across the world,

As we ask ‘Why?’

As we wonder if you have forsaken us,

or maybe wonder if you are a God who punishes us,

As we fight with all our might to combat and overcome this dreadful virus,

We discover the earth is healing and resting and being renewed.

And we recall that there is no equal to you, you are above all, and beyond all.

We hear the words: ‘The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.’

We also hear your promise to give strength to the weary and power to the weak,

And we remember that it was to this world that you gave your only Son,

that we might not perish but have everlasting life.

You who are beyond all and above all,

are also a God of love amongst us and within us in your Spirit,

with us throughout all the trails of our lives,

in us in our struggles and confusion.

And you are stronger than the strongest virus, even stronger than death itself.

And you are our God. Alleluia!


Anne Wilde, 02/04/2020


‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.’     Habakkuk 3,17-18

It’s so easy to praise you, Lord, for abundance, for good health, for cups filled to the brim.

How could we not delight in your overflowing grace, your endless blessings to us?

How simple it is to give thanks for the gift of fellowship, families and friends gathered together, for a friendly pat on the shoulder, a kiss.

Teach us, Lord, to praise you and be grateful also when our cups are empty and thirst seems to be unending. Help us to find joy in tiny sips, tiny steps, join our hands together, so that working alongside you we can recreate abundance, fill hearts and minds with your peace and your love.


Krystyna Kwarciak, 01/04/2020


Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.Job 39:2

Loving God, I’m worn out by waiting, tired of my thoughts, overwhelmed by all the tragedy in the news, wherever I turn there’s so much struggle, so much pain. I run to you believing that you will make me strong again, that your breath will blow through me so I can not just fly, but soar. With my eyes fixed on you, Lord, with you walking beside me, working through me, I know I can make it. Fill me with your power, lift my spirit up to the heights so I can catch a glimpse of your glory and your peace. Guide me, sustain me and all those I pray for, renew my commitment to your call. Amen

‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.’     Habakkuk 3,17-18

It’s so easy to praise you, Lord, for abundance, for good health, for cups filled to the brim.

How could we not delight in your overflowing grace, your endless blessings to us?

How simple it is to give thanks for the gift of fellowship, families and friends gathered together, for a friendly pat on the shoulder, a kiss.

Teach us, Lord, to praise you and be grateful also when our cups are empty and thirst seems to be unending. Help us to find joy in tiny sips, tiny steps, join our hands together, so that working alongside you we can recreate abundance, fill hearts and minds with your peace and your love.


Krystyna Kwarciak, 31/03/2020


‘Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.’ Luke 4,1

Just a few weeks ago we stood by clear waters, loving God, knowing who we were, who the church was and where we were going. Now we’re in the desert, it’s uncharted territory, severe and barren, a very lonely place. We don’t like this sense of foreboding emptiness, Lord, the rules here are different, the old ways don’t work, we have been stripped of our illusions, of growth, of plenty…why have you brought us here? This desert is too difficult.

In this dangerous place, this sacred space, in moments of stillness and uncertainty, our anxious thoughts and worries rise up to you like incense. Teach us to be listeners, Lord, humble, broken souls that walk where the wind of your Spirit blows. Remind us that Good news came from out of the desert. In the midst of waylessness and unknowing there is good news. You have brought us here to hear it, we are waiting for you to speak.


Krystyna Kwarciak, 30/03/2020


Loving God

You are with us

Suffering with us

Comforting us.

Help us to be still.

To listen to the birds singing

And feel the breeze on our faces.

Help us to listen to your quiet voice

Guiding us this day as we ask you for the things we need.


Sue Rowe, 19/03/2020


Loving God,

I really don’t know what to think. It is so tiring

Every day a new announcement turning my world and everybody else’s upside down.

Plans are overthrown. There are people we love whom we can’t see or touch.

People who have been rightly told that they must hide from the world.

People who are panicking so much they make trophies out of loo paper.

All because of an unpredictable invisible scary virus
which could be anywhere and brought by anyone.

I feel out of control like a boat tossed on a stormy sea.

I shout “Jesus, Jesus, wake up can’t you see that we are drowning?

I want you to take back control for me to silence the storm and still the waves.

Yet in my heart of hearts I know the biggest storm and the greatest chaos is not outside in the world
but deep inside within me.

Loving God whatever the storm on the outside,
no matter how much chaos it may bring,
silence the storm within me
so that I have the strength and courage that Jesus showed
enabling me to deal calmly and lovingly with our changing world

and the growing needs of the people around me.


Ken Stokes, 18/03/2020

Bring peace, Lord, to the worried.

Bring calm, Lord, to the stressed.

Bring hope, Lord, to the downcast,

and to the tired, Lord,

grant them rest.

(written by John Birch,

Offered by Sue Williams, with photos from her garden, 18/03/2020


Loving God,

Is it a tickle, a random thing, of no consequence? Or do I want to cough?

A dry cough is bad news they say, it is enough to make me shiver.

But that is bad too, the sign of a temperature.

I just know I will be one of those one or two or however many percent that become seriously ill.

Someone must. I know it will be me.

I have made my fingers red and rough with the amount of washing I have done.

I am good with everyone’s illness except my own.

I can always imagine a thousand deaths.

So, my fear overcomes me, and I forget about other people

Especially the ones who are truly ill and the ones whose underlying health conditions make them more vulnerable.

Forgive me Jesus.

Remind me that you did not obsess about controlling everyone and everything.

You lived fully because you trusted that whatever life,

or death brought, God was there for you.

Remind me to recognise those who show courage and compassion like you.
The doctors, nurses and care workers working long hours often without enough protection yet still giving there all to save lives.

Help me to open myself to your love again, in the knowledge that your love casts out all fear.


Ken Stokes, 18/03/2020